The Death of Howard Finkel

Howard Finkel: Remembering the Voice of Wrestling

In the world of professional wrestling, where larger-than-life characters and dramatic narratives take center stage, certain individuals stand out for their contributions behind the scenes. One such luminary is Howard Finkel, affectionately known as “The Fink.” With a career spanning decades, Howard Finkel’s impact on the wrestling industry and his unfortunate passing have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans and those who knew him.

The Early Days: The Birth of a Legend

Howard Finkel was born on June 7, 1950, in Newark, New Jersey. His passion for professional wrestling ignited at a young age, and he quickly recognized that his calling lay not in the ring itself, but rather in the role of a ring announcer. Finkel’s distinctive voice and unwavering enthusiasm set him apart from the start, and his dedication to his craft would soon lead him to the forefront of the wrestling world.

Finkel’s journey began in the late 1970s when he joined the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE). His unique vocal style, a mix of professionalism and excitement, made him an instant hit among fans and wrestlers alike. As the official ring announcer, Finkel’s job was not just to introduce the competitors but to add an extra layer of excitement and anticipation to each match he announced.

The Voice of Wrestling: A Legendary Career

Howard Finkel’s iconic voice became synonymous with the WWF, and later WWE, events. His passionate and resonant announcements elevated every match, turning them into spectacles that fans eagerly awaited. His famous catchphrase “And new!” reverberated through arenas as he announced the crowning of new champions, creating unforgettable moments that fans still cherish.

Beyond his role as a ring announcer, Finkel’s versatility shone as he took on various responsibilities within the company. He contributed to marketing, public relations, and talent relations, showcasing his dedication to the wrestling business as a whole. Despite the changing landscape of professional wrestling, Finkel remained a constant presence, his unwavering commitment to his work earning him respect and admiration from both his colleagues and the wrestling community.

Behind the Curtain: A Respected Figure

While Finkel’s interactions with wrestlers were limited to the ring, his influence extended far beyond the microphone. His professionalism, kindness, and genuine enthusiasm earned him the respect of wrestlers, promoters, and staff members. Wrestlers often shared stories of Finkel’s warmth and support, describing him as a pillar of the wrestling family.

His contributions were not confined to the wrestling ring; Finkel’s involvement in charitable endeavors showcased his compassion and desire to make a positive impact. He participated in various charitable events organized by WWE, embodying the spirit of giving back to the community that was close to his heart.

The Legacy Lives On

On April 16, 2020, Howard Finkel passed away at the age of 69. His health had been a concern since he suffered a stroke in February 2019. During an episode of the podcast “Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard,” Prichard revealed that Finkel had been residing in an assisted living facility for a period leading up to his passing.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, among others, shared his condolences, expressing gratitude for Finkel’s contributions. The Rock’s tribute encapsulated the sentiments of many, as he recalled Finkel’s role in making wrestling matches feel larger than life and the excitement he brought to the arena with every announcement.

A Lasting Influence

Howard Finkel’s legacy extends beyond his time on the microphone. His impact on the wrestling industry and the lives of those he touched is immeasurable. As a testament to his influence, WWE inaugurated the “Howard Finkel Announcer Scholarship” to support aspiring announcers in their pursuit of a career in sports entertainment.

Finkel’s journey from a passionate young wrestling fan to becoming the voice that guided fans through countless memorable moments is a story of dedication, passion, and love for the sport. His legacy lives on through the countless memories he helped create, the careers he influenced, and the enduring impact he had on professional wrestling.

In remembering Howard Finkel, we celebrate not just a career, but a lifelong dedication to a craft that brought joy and excitement to millions. His voice will forever echo in the memories of fans, reminding us of the magic and camaraderie that professional wrestling brings to our lives. As the wrestling world continues to evolve, the legacy of Howard Finkel stands as a reminder of the profound impact one person’s passion and dedication can have on an entire industry.

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